B-Sides On-Air: Interview – Njomza Talks ‘Vacation’, Early Music

B-Sides On-Air: Interview – Njomza Talks ‘Vacation’, Early Music


vacation is the latest EP from Njomza
who joins us here in San Francisco hello welcome welcome it is freezing in
here and that’s why we’re all bundled up I have to apologize I should have
greeted you properly. Merdita, si jienne? oh my god that was pretty good
siennie. siennie. you said meridita pretty good. though oh that one was easier to
practice I was not expecting you to just speak Albanian right now I try to do
that research. mier, tu du sheyer? po I said hey I said good how are you you
said yes I love that you studied that. that’s so cute. [cheers] this is my first time in San Francisco. [cheers] So this is a historical moment right now. Well, in my life. this is a fortuitous moment
too because you just released your first EP under the Motown label yes which i
think is amazing congratulations yet you being from the Midwest did you
have any Motown influence at all right like that I know Chicago Detroit is
separated but I mean Motown has so many classics I feel like everyone’s low-key
influenced by Motown like there’s no way not to be yeah so definitely for sure
it’s just soul you can’t it’s undeniable music yeah it definitely definitely if
you if you look up you know your history obviously people will notice oh yeah you
started off doing covers or into EDM and obviously got discovered by Mac Miller
and the story continues from that perspective dabbling EDM and and also
hip hop as well and getting immersed with the Chicago scene over there
what was your musical influence growing up what was your family listening to
well my um I’m Albanian as we know and pull and I think really my influence
growing up my sister listened to a lot of R&B music my older sisters five years
older than me so she was listening to R&B music and so I kind of just grew up
hearing that once I got into middle school I was really into rock music and
like pop rock that whole scene was pretty popular in my town at the time so
I started a band at 13 and like did all that and it’s just like changes as I get
older it’s constantly constantly changing I’m inspired by everything
that’s around me so when you started scarlet and I did the wrong thing you
did really great research except for your name it’s growing up that you’ll
see in the in the outtakes would when you did start scarlet though it was you
and bunch of friends and you well what was the sound that you were going for it
because you know going to Chicago Fall Out Boy yeah and you know so forth I
mean I was definitely an influence I was like obsessed with Paramore still AM so
I just I wanted to start a band and just have fun on stage and rock out like the
people I was idolizing at the time so it was like a very cool time when I was
like from 14 to 16 there was all these bands playing locally or shows happening
every weekend and once I had junior year once I turned 16 17 that’s when I
started listening to rap music Mac Miller it was was khlifa Cudi that whole
era and I was really influenced by that and pop music as well so I kind of drove
into other worlds but before then I was very like this is what I do I’m rock and
roll and this is it yeah and then I don’t know I started smoking weed and I
was like no no listen to some other stuff now yeah well you know rock people
that smoke weed – oh yeah now saying that that doesn’t happen yeah yeah yeah
I just I think I was very um stuck in one way and
I mean I was very young 13 15 16 I was very influenced by everybody around me
and I think I just got a little bit older I wanted to explore and kind of
find myself and find my own sound rather than just trying to do what everybody
else is doing right so this is your second EP vacation and you’ve described
this as kind of this piece of work that’ll just transform you take you to a
different place yeah sonically emotionally without
really having to leave what was your headspace when you were
putting this material together you know post-breakup
in love I just wanted to make something that’s about freeing and light and not
as dark I was in a space where I did want to let go and kind of get in my own
head to find a way to get out of my own and so I think that happens when you
kind of let go and explore your options and you can let other people be that
vacation for you or you can be the vacation for somebody else in that realm
I know I’m not the only person that’s thought this when I first listened to
the EP I was like what am i listening to right now I hear Timbaland type beats I
can hear Aaliyah singing some of these songs
wow that’s only really big compliment. lonely nights me and you I was like closing my
eyes going off into the dream world like you described right and then I thought
about it I was like alright let me do a little googling and I saw that you did
an ally a cover yeah you were bored one day and yeah yeah yeah mm-hmm she one of
your influences for sure I mean her voice is so angelic
I think definitely is she influenced that kind of softer tone in my voice
when I when I get into that side of it for sure major insulin what about the
Sonics like I said musically I was just listening to these before you even
started singing what’s Timbaland I don’t I just like hard-hitting beads I like I
like hard-hitting beats and I like to sing pretty over
there’s just something that you like to do it’s a nice contrast yeah
bebe Rexha recently tweeted about how much you want to collaborate with her
fellow Albanians yes could do something with Dua, Rita Ora and then your name
got thrown into the mix yeah cuz of Gashi. My friend that’s a rapper his name is Gashi, he tweeted at bebe Rexha he was like Njomza and then she was like yes
and I was like okay this is hey yeah I’ve definitely responded I think for I
think I sent like hearts back or something like that but I would love to
work with her I’d love to work with anybody that’s doing something amazing
coming out of Albania I mean I got to support my people yeah well you’re doing
great thank you so much can’t wait for this new album thank you and great to
meet you you too awesome it is Njomza and you’re watching b-sides on
air. B-Sides!

4 thoughts on “B-Sides On-Air: Interview – Njomza Talks ‘Vacation’, Early Music

  1. Thanks for checking out our chat with Njomza! We're all about new music and new artists, so comment below with who you're into and want to see next and subscribe for more!

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